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Showing posts with label Investments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Investments. Show all posts


Denmark falling behind in public investment

Compared to other EU nations, Denmark struggles when it comes to investing in the construction and maintenance of schools, roads, railways and other public facilities.

Denmark ranked 22 out of the 27 EU member states plus Norway in a comparison of public investment as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) between 2009 and 2012, according to an analysis by Momentum magazine, published by the local government organiszation, KL.

“One can’t say that Denmark is impressing on the list and it surprises me that we are competing with Greece and Slovakia when we have such a huge public sector,” Martin Damm (V), the head of KL and mayor of Kalundborg, told Politiken newspaper.
The Ministry of Finance put the level of public investment under the current government at 44 billion kroner annually, which the ministry argues was the highest amount in over 30 years.

Read more: Denmark falling behind in public investment - News - The Copenhagen Post


Ukraine: Russia, U.S. tied by technology investments - by Benny Evangelista

Growing up in the old Soviet Union, Dmitry Akhanov feared Americans. "Being a kid in the early '80s, it would have been both a challenging and frightening experience to talk to a U.S. person, because of the Cold War and all the history," he said.

Today, Akhanov is Russia's point man in Silicon Valley, a striking example of how investment, not ideology, governs the relationship between the two historic rivals. As president and CEO of Menlo Park's Rusnano USA, Akhanov oversees the U.S. unit of a Russian government-owned nanotechnology fund that has invested about $1.2 billion in the last three years in American companies.

"When you do business with someone, you tend to trust them, otherwise you will not be doing business with them," Akhanov said. In the post-Soviet era, younger generations have been weaned on the Internet and social media. "You know people personally," he said. "You meet them, and you see them from a different viewpoint."

However, Russia's decision to annex Crimea and mass troops on Ukraine's eastern border is testing those relationships.

"We know how to work when we're in different parts of the world," said Ukrainian entrepreneur Yaroslav Azhnyuk, the 25-year-old CEO of a San Francisco startup called Petcube. "Even if something horrible happens, we'll just move to Europe, or wherever, and continue working from there."

Petcube, which is developing a device that lets people watch their pets through a mobile phone app, operates a development office in Kiev.

In some ways, the growing economic ties between America and Russia could make a potential conflict even messier. Silicon Valley depends a good deal on Russian money and Ukrainian engineers to power its startups, while tech giants Cisco Systems and Google have made major investments in the former Soviet Union.

Russia is already pulling money out of Ukraine. Russian investment in Ukrainian startups has nearly stopped because of government propaganda, said Vitaly Golomb, a Bay Area entrepreneur and investor.

One problem is the lack of leadership in Ukraine, a situation that may not be cleared up with elections at the end of May.

Some companies aren't waiting. Some businesses have already developed contingency plans to move staff to a neighboring country.

"I have a few friends who run those companies, and they started doing preventive things like opening an office in Moldova, which is like 70 miles away from Odessa, because they have deadlines and they have budgets to meet," said Denys Zhadanov, marketing director for Readdle in Ukraine, which makes popular business productivity apps like Scanner Pro for the iPhone and iPad.

Read more: Russia, U.S. tied by technology investments - SFGate

India’s elections could be bad news for Walmart - by Heather Timmons

As voting kicks off in India, the reported front-runner Bharatiya Janata Party has released its policy “manifesto,” laying out how the BJP would try to reboot India’s stalled economy and help the country to recover what the party calls its “innate vitality.”

 While scant on specifics and long on content-free declarations like “We have to encourage our industry to innovate and collaborate internationally,” the 52-page document did provide some clues into which companies and industries might benefit if the BJP, as expected, gains the most seats in this election. 

There is one named exception to the BJP’s pro-foreign direct investment stance: “the multi-brand retail sector,” or stores that sell many different brands under one roof. That would reverse a decision by the current Congress Party-led government to allow multi-brand foreign retailers into the country. Walmart is reportedly investing 13 billion rupees ($214 million) in its India business, much of that for online sales. The BJP manifesto doesn’t specifically mention how it will handle e-commerce, and India’s growing online sales are sure to draw attention.

Seed makers like Monsanto and DuPont: “Genetically Modified (GM) foods will not be allowed without full scientific evaluation on its long-term effects on soil, production and biological impact on consumers,” the BJP states.
Nuclear experts like GE: The US-India nuclear pact, a hallmark of the outgoing Manmohan Singh-led government, failed to create a massive new market for power plant companies in India, and the BJP promises even less bilateral cooperation. “We will follow a two-pronged independent nuclear programme, unencumbered by foreign pressure and influence, for civilian and military purposes, especially as nuclear power is a major contributor to India’s energy sector,” the manifesto says.

Read more: India’s elections could be bad news for Walmart - Quartz


European Council - Successful EU-Africa Summit

The 4th EU-Africa Summit, April 2 - 3, 2014 brought together more than 60 EU and African leaders, and a total of 90 delegations, to discuss the future of EU-Africa relations and reinforce links between the two continents. In the summit declaration, leaders highlighted the close nature of EU-Africa relations and the shared values of democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and good governance as well as the right to development.

Leaders recognised the importance of peace and security as essential prerequisites for development and prosperity. In particular, they confirmed their commitment to enhancing political dialogue on international criminal justice and universal jurisdiction. Leaders also gave their support to the African aspiration and commitment to ensuring peace and stability in Africa and agreed to support African capabilities in this area through any available means, with a particular focus on capacity-building. Both continents agreed to strengthen common effort to fight international terrorism and to combat the spread.

Leaders pledged to pursue policies to create jobs and stimulate long-term growth on both continents. In particular the two continents agreed to cooperate more closely in the field of maritime policy. The EU also underlined its commitment to continuing to support African countries in the preparation of climate-resilient and low-emission development strategies. Leaders on both sides highlighted the importance of ensuring prudent and transparent management of respective natural resources, and responsible mineral sourcing.

The summit declaration also underlines the importance of encouraging greater investment and economic development within and between countries in both continents, alongside developing transport, access to drinking water and to sustainable and affordable energy.  successful

Read more: European Council - EU-Africa summit 2014


EU Environmental Policies: Brussels Restricts Policy To Emission Reduction And Trading - by Sonja van Renssen

The European Commission’s 2030 climate and energy package unveiled on 22 January confines itself to two main proposals: a 40% binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target and legislative reform of the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

Significantly, it does not include post-2020 national renewable energy targets or new energy efficiency targets. It also drops the fuel quality directive which underpins the use of biofuels in the transport sector. The upshot of the proposals, if adopted by the EU Member States and the European Parliament, is that the EU’s climate policy will in future be carried out almost exclusively through the Emission Trading Scheme coupled with national  emission reduction targets.

The days of micromanagement from Brussels are over.

“A game-changer for investors in renewable energy” is how one analyst summed up the European Commission’s new climate and energy package, which aims to extend the EU’s climate policies beyond 2020 to 2030.

Read more: Brussels Restricts Policy To Emission Reduction And Trading | CleanTechnica


European Financial Markets: Europe tightens up financial market rules - but Britain once again "odd man out"

The Europe Union is to tighten regulation of financial markets under a deal to prevent any repetition of the rampant speculation which helped bring down banks and crash the global economy.

After two years of tough talks, the European Parliament and negotiators for the 28 member states agreed a deal in principle that sets new rules to regulate the market, known as MiFID II.

"These new rules will improve the way capital markets function to the benefit of the real economy," said the EU's Financial Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier.

"They are a key step towards establishing a safer, more open and more responsible financial system and restoring investor confidence in the wake of the financial crisis."

Barnier first pushed for the new rules in 2011 at the height of the eurozone debt crisis which was sparked by the 2008 global financial crash.

They aim to curb speculative trading in commodities and to regulate high-frequency trading so as better to protect investors and make the markets less crisis prone.

They will apply to investment firms, market operators and services providing post-trade transparency information in the European Union, a parliament statement said.

They will notably force market players to buy and sell financial instruments on regulated markets comparable to stock exchanges to ensure that all trading is tracked by MiFID.

International aid group Oxfam welcomed the deal but warned of the dangers of exemptions, especially for Britain which is home to one of the world's largest financial markets in London.

"Today's decision marks a good start in tackling 'gambling' on food prices which are a matter of life and death to millions," Oxfam said.

But "the deal is far from perfect," Oxfam said." Unjustified exemptions were granted to powerful lobbies and limits will be set nationally, rather than at the European level.

"There is a real risk, particularly in the UK, of ineffective sky high limits triggering a regulatory race to the bottom between European countries," it said in a statement.

Read more: Europe tightens up financial market rules - Yahoo News


Greece beats target for taking up EU co-financing funds

Greece beat its target for taking up European Union co-financing funds in 2013 after it streamlined businesses' access to the money, the Development Ministry said on Thursday.

Government data showed Athens beat its 3.89 billion euros ($5.36 billion) target - one of the conditions of its European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout - by 710 million.

Six years of recession have forced thousands of businesses to close and sent unemployment to record levels. The economy is forecast to return to 0.6 percent growth this year.

Greece must make sure it is eligible for 5.5 billion of EU funds by 2015 under its current 20.5 billion EU co-financing programme, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said.

"The absorption rate beat even the most upbeat projections," he said in a statement.
Investment in debt-laden Greece has dropped by about 60 percent since its prolonged recession began in 2008, crimping efforts to exit the downturn and kick-start growth.

Read more: Greece beats target for taking up EU co-financing funds - Yahoo Finance


Germany: Top ten reasons you should move to Germany

As if the sausages and the beer were not enough, this week's Local List has come up with ten (other) good reasons to move to and live in Germany. 

Read more: Top ten reasons you should move to Germany - The Local


Turkey - Energy becomes new love of large Turkish corporations

The state has been speeding away from the energy sector, in which it has been transferring its assets to the private sector through privatizations. In addition to the handover of public power plants and power distribution grids, it has been avoiding to take an active role in new investments, encouraging private sector and distributing licenses.

At the moment, some holding groups, which have particular influence on the country’s economy, have been leaping forward in the electricity business and have seized the best assets. Let’s first look at the allocation in the distribution market, which consists of 18 regional grids.

“Some names” stand out among the ones that have entered the energy business. The Kolin-Limak-Cengiz consortium, which recently bought some of Çukurova Group’s media assets from the state deposit fund TMSF, has dominated four large regions that conduct power sales to almost 10 million subscribers. The consortium won the tender for the largest of those grids, BEDAŞ, which is the grid serving the European side of Istanbul, for $2 million in May and won the Akdeniz Elektrik power grid in the same month for $550 million. In 2010, the group put down $1 billion for Uludağ Elektrik, the power distributor of Bursa and its environs. Also a company founded by this group, Çamlı Enerji, acquired the operational rights to the electricity distribution for the Central Anatolian provinces of Sivas, Tokat and Yozgat in return for $260 million. The new media group seems like it has taken a hold on four regions for $4 billion.

Read more: ENERGY - Energy becomes new love of large Turkish corporations


Shipping needs to be greener to address financial "gaping hole” in shipping industry

Maersk Triple E class Super Container ship
The financial crisis and the retreat of the banks means the shipping industry must look to a new set of investors that are demanding greater transparency and environmental performance before they will invest, according to the global head of transport at Dutch bank ABN-Amro.
"Banks are retreating from the business so that leaves a very big gaping hole in the financial structure," ABN-Amro’s Gust Biesbroek said "The way ships are being financed today: that hole is being filled rapidly by capital markets, private equity and other private investors and the demands that this new money puts on all the shipping companies in which they invest are very different from the old fashioned bank; there is a lot more emphasis on transparency, longer term transparency as well and of course environmental performance."

Biesbroek made his remarks yesterday at an event hosted by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, a cross-industry coalition of businesses working to achieve a sustainable future for the shipping industry. He was joined by representatives from global marine equipment manufacturer, Wartsila Corporation, and shipping giant Maersk Line, which today launches the first of its Triple E ships, its most environment-friendly family of ships to date.

Over 80 per cent of world trade is carried by the global shipping industry and that means emissions from shipping now total over a billion tonnes a year.

Biesbroek suggested it was time the shipping industry dragged itself into the 21st century and start thinking long-term. 
The Maersk Triple E class will be a family of 20 large, fuel-efficient container ships, designed as a successor to the Maersk E-class and costing US$1.9 billion to build. The name 'Triple E; is derived from the class’s three design principles: 'Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved’. The vessels are 400 metres long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres high and will travel the Asia-Europe trade route. They cover 184 kilometres using just one kilowatt hour of energy per ton of cargo – the same amount of energy per ton of cargo it would take a jumbo jet to travel half a kilometre. They will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50 per cent for every container they move, compared to the industry average the same trade route.

Read more: green shipping news | Shipping needs to be greener to address financial "gaping hole”


Greek PM invites China to 'join Greece's success story' - BY Nikolia Apostolou

Officials in Brussels and Washington may view China’s global shopping spree with alarm, as the Asian power house continues to buy up companies, sovereign debt, ports, and bridges around the world. But the Greeks are already dusting off the red carpet.

On a five-day visit to Beijing that ended Monday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras eagerly invited the Chinese to "join Greece's success story," hoping to lure the country’s ravenous investors to Greece and pump new life into the country's devastated economy.

After global rating agency Fitch upgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating from CCC to B- last week, Mr. Samaras tried to convince Chinese officials that the economic crisis plaguing Greece would soon come to an end.

"I wouldn't be here if we in Greece hadn't turned our ship around," he told them during his visit, flanked by 71 Greek businessmen and members of his cabinet, who had to pay their own way to Asia because of budget austerity measures.

Read more: Greek PM invites China to 'join Greece's success story' -


Greenland looks to Denmark for rare earth mineral investment

Greenland’s top politician has encouraged Copenhagen to invest in his country ahead of an imminent boom in developing local mineral resources.

Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist made his appeal in the Copenhagen-based Politiken newspaper, saying it would be a shame for Denmark to lose out on investing in the country’s promising mineral industry considering its history and close relationship with Greenland.

Kleist wrote, “The alliance between Denmark and Greenland has been incredibly beneficial for both. Isn’t it about time that we, after 300 years of history openly declare the love and mutual esteem we have for one another?”

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has since responded positively. She told Politiken, “If the Self-Rule administration wants to strengthen the co-operation between Denmark and Greenland in the resources field, the government is naturally open to discuss it.”

The news comes following in-depth negotiations between Nuuk and Chinese investors, who pledged DKK 12 billion (EUR 1.6 billion) toward developing the Greenland’s mineral industry.

Greenland is thought to contain one of the planet’s largest deposits of valuable rare earth minerals outside of China. Rare earth minerals are a key ingredient in the production of electronics and numerous other consumer goods.

Read more: Greenland looks to Denmark for mineral investment | IceNews - Daily News


Islamic Development Bank to invest $1 billion in Kazakhstan during 2012-2014

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will invest $ 1 billion into the Kazakhstan’s economy in 2012-2014. Respective partnership strategy was signed October 2, 2012 in Astana, KazTag Agency reports.

“The new strategy enables to (…) channel sizable investments into transport, power industry infrastructure, agriculture, science, regional cooperation projects”, the country’s Minister of Industry and New Technology Asset Issekeshev said before the signing ceremony.

According to the ministry’s press-release, as of the beginning of October the Bank invested into the Kazakh economy a total of $987 million. Cooperation with the Bank dates back to November 30, 1995.

“Further cooperation with the Bank is of great interest to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was the first CIS nation to develop a partnership program with the Bank. The current industrial programs in Kazakhstan offer wide opportunities for bilateral cooperation”, President Nazarbayev said following his talks with the Bank’s President Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani.

Read more: Islamic Development Bank to invest $1 billion to Kazakhstan in 2012-2014. Politics.


German BASF continues to invest in Flanders, Belgium

German chemical concern BASF has announced its intention to invest between EUR 150 and 200 million in its subsidiary in Antwerp (Flanders) in 2012. The company board called the site one of the cornerstones of the group.

The lofty words and promised investments are indicative of the confidence BASF’s has in its facilities in Antwerp (Flanders). Wouter De Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerp, explains: “We have a very strong strategic position in the group. BASF Antwerp is more stable than ever. We keep receiving replacement investments, which include modernizations and limited expansions.” In 2012, the group also wants to employ at least 250 extra people – the same amount as last year.

In 2011, BASF Antwerp posted a 15 per cent increase in revenue for FY 2011 2011, bringing total turnover to EUR 7 billion. This makes it the second largest company in the region – after ExxonMobil. BASFs profit in Antwerp grew by no less than 41 per cent last year, totaling EUR 897 million. In Antwerp, BASF has about 50 production units and 3,300 employees.



Germany's Merkel: More, Not Less Europe Is Needed

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk Thursday called for greater solidarity and further integration in Europe, citing them as crucial elements for resolving the euro-zone debt crisis.

"We need more Europe and not less," Merkel told a gathering at a ceremony to award Tusk this year's Walther Rathenau prize, an award for achievements in furthering the European ideal granted by the Walther Rathenau Foundation.

Merkel said that structural reforms to labor markets and national economies to promote competitiveness were needed not just in the euro zone but throughout the European Union.

Read more: Germany's Merkel: More, Not Less Europe Is Needed


China confident in Italy economy

China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Saturday Italy could return to economic growth as long as it implements reforms, speaking at a Beijing meeting with Italian counterpart Mario Monti.

"The Italian economy has solid foundations and potential. It can deal with the unfavourable international context and, thanks to the implementation of reforms, boost growth," Wen said.

"Italy considers China as a strategic partner," Monti said. "We can find new forms of cooperation, not only in our bilateral relations but also in multilateral relations."

The widely-respected technocrat, who replaced Silvio Berlusconi as head of the eurozone's third largest economy, was visiting China as Europe continues to stagger under the weight of runaway sovereign debt, led by Greece.

For more: Sky News: China confident in Italy economy


Investments: Is China really the best place to invest? - by Larry Swedroe

One of my major focuses is demonstrating that so much of the "conventional wisdom" of investing is wrong. One of the more persistent beliefs held by investors is that if you want high returns, you should invest in countries experiencing rapid economic growth.

Antti Ilmanen, in his book Expected Returns, reports that from 1993 through 2009, China's GDP growth rate averaged more than 10 percent. If ever there was a test that would demonstrate that high rates of economic growth translate into high investment returns, this should have been it. Yet, Ilmanen found that U.S. dollar-based investor would have earned negative returns over the period. The negative return has now been extended to 19 years as the iShares Trust FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI) returned just 2.1 percent in 2010, and then lost 17.7 percent in 2011. 
If the Chinese example doesn't convince you that the conventional wisdom is wrong, perhaps the cumulative weight of the evidence from the following studies will: One study found that for the period 1900-2000, the real return from stocks and a country's growth rate was negatively correlated (-0.27); another study ranked 83 countries and found that the lowest growth countries outperformed the fastest growing countries by almost 7 percent a year.

Note EU-Digest: "therefore, based on the above - and your investment security: invest in Europe. It will pay off, in addition to giving you, the investor, the security of knowing your capital is invested in a democratic society, which can not suddenly change the rules on foreign investments without due process."

For more: Is China really the best place to invest? - CBS News


The eagle has landed - in Europe - by Nelson Schwartz

As Europe battles its debt crisis, businesses and financial firms from the United States are swooping, making loans and snapping up assets owned by banks - from the mortgage on a luxury Miami hotel to Dublin's tallest office block.

The sales are taking place because European banks are scrambling to raise capital and shrink their balance sheets - often under orders from regulators.

Huw van Steenis, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, estimates that European financial institutions will unload up to $US3 trillion in assets over the next 18 months.


China in talks over buying Italian debt

China could step in to help rescue Europe from its debt crisis after holding top-level talks with Italy's finance minister.

The Italian government confirmed on Tuesday that Giulio Tremonti had met the head of China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign wealth fund, in Rome last week. It is understood that Tremonti asked the Chinese delegation to consider buying Italy's sovereign debt and making strategic investments in Italian companies.

The Italian treasury declined to give details of the meeting, but traders were encouraged that Beijing might use its financial muscle to help the eurozone.

For more: China in talks over buying Italian debt | Business |


Stock Market: When Worlds Collide Rick Rule says," don't panic"

Returning to cyberspace for one of his popular webcasts last week, Rick Rule, founder of Global Resource Investments, warned of extreme volatility ahead, in the broad economy generally and in the natural resource market in particular. Girding for the violent roller-coaster ride he foresees calls for both emotional fortitude and financial preparation, he says, suggesting that investors make up their minds now to stay on the sidelines if they don't have the stomach and the cash to climb aboard.

"The bottom line is that your own financial and psychological preparedness for dealing with volatility will determine whether you come out of the next year or two substantially better off-or substantially worse," Rick says. "It's your responsibility to determine your response and hence your own financial future."

On the psychological side, as he has pointed out in the past, Rick believes that the nature of profiting from volatility lies in being "on the other side of the trade."

And as he says, count on "incredible turbulence and incredible variability" as the commodities supercycle, fed by the developing nations, comes up against the secular bull market enveloping the Western economies. "Both the risks and the rewards will come much more frequently and with much more urgency," he predicts. "This market will give you extraordinary opportunities to either make or lose money. Your response will determine whether the next two years are extremely pleasant or unpleasant for you." It could turn out otherwise, he says, but he hopes that in 10 to 15 years "we can look back on this as an exhilarating and profitable experience."

"In the context of the Chinese curse," Rick concludes, "these are very interesting times, times that will favor the prepared and the bold, and be catastrophic for those who are neither prepared nor bold."